Dressage Horses

At its core, dressage is about the rider and horse working together to perform a series of precise movements. These movements are designed to showcase the horse’s balance, flexibility, obedience and athleticism. The sport emphasizes harmony between the two partners with an emphasis on subtle cues and communication. As a result, dressage is often called “horse ballet” due to its elegance and grace.

Training and Competition

In competition, riders are judged on their ability to control their horses while executing these precise movements. Dressage tests vary in complexity from basic levels for novice riders and horses all the way up to Grand Prix level where competitors perform advanced movements such as pirouettes and flying changes. In addition to being a competitive sport, dressage can also be used as a tool for improving horsemanship skills in other equestrian disciplines.

While it may seem simple at first glance, successful dressage training requires patience, dedication and attention to detail from both horse and rider. But for those who put in the time and effort required of this challenging but rewarding discipline, there is no greater feeling than achieving harmony with your equine partner through an art form that has been around for centuries.

Proper Care for Dressage Horses

Horses that are involved in dressage training should receive appropriate care and attention to help them stay healthy and fit. As with all equine disciplines, balance is an important factor in dressage training. But while a horse is trotting around in circles, it’s easy to overlook the importance of balance. Here are the proper ways to care for your:

  • Nutrition – balanced, healthy diet
  • Exercise – exercise is a big part of dressage training and can be supplemented by riding other horses
  • Hygiene – keeping your horse clean and therefore fit It’s important to keep track of your horse’s health, which includes monitoring his weight as well.

Weight Management

Weight should be balanced, not too lean or too heavy. As with humans, horses may carry excess weight in different areas of the body. This can affect balance and cause a horse to lose its symmetry. The best way to correct this is through proper nutrition and exercise. Additionally, a horse with excess weight may be more susceptible to injury. Focus on getting your horse into good shape, and he’ll look better, perform better and you’ll see fewer problems.

Best Horses for Dressage

To be able to successfully compete at the highest levels of dressage, a horse needs to be very responsive and well-trained, plus have a powerful build. However, a horse that is too vigorous or too muscular could be difficult to control and ride in a way that would earn high marks from the judges. Here are the horses that are most commonly used in dressage competitions:


These are the best of both worlds: powerful enough to be able to carry a rider over jumps and have strong gaits, yet sensitive enough to perform the dressage movements beautifully. The best known of these breeds are the German warmbloods, which includes the Hanoverians and Holsteins. These horses have a long history of being bred for show jumping as well as dressage. For this reason, they tend to be very athletic and powerful.


Thoroughbreds are known for their speed and endurance, which makes them well-suited to dressage. Their smooth gait is similar to that of the warmbloods, but they tend to be more sensitive than the warmblood.

Quarter Horses

Quarter horses have a long history as trail and working horses. They’re known for their strong, powerful gaits. However, they don’t tend to be as sensitive as the warmbloods or Thoroughbreds.

Arabian Horses

The Arabian horse is known for its elegant, gliding style of riding. These horses have a flowing gait that’s well-suited to dressage. Their sensitivity helps them respond to the rider’s cues.

The Best Dressage Horses for Sale

If you’re looking for a horse for dressage, you may want to start by looking at the four most popular breeds of horses. These sites are the best source:

Horse Deals




Top Horse

Dressage is a fascinating and complex sport that requires skill and training from both horse and rider. It is a wonderful way to bond with the animal and build trust and respect between them, while creating stunning performance pieces. The sport can be enjoyed by all riders regardless of discipline or experience level. Learning more about dressage in horses will ensure that you have all the facts when deciding if it’s right for you and your horse.

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